Taijiwuxigong (pronounced “Tie-Jee Woo-She Gong”) is a system derived in the most part from Tai Chi practice. Dr Shen Hongxun, the founder of this style, was teaching Tai Chi to a group of elderly students who found it difficult to remember the sequence of the Tai Chi form. He therefore took a few movements and focused on them as individual exercises. Then, as the system developed, it came to use various exercises to clear and open specific areas of the body. According to Dr Shen, when the ‘First World Conference for Academic Exchange of Medical Qigong’ was held in 1988, ten Qigong styles were demonstrated and all participants agreed that Taijiwuxigong was the most effective.
One meaning of ‘five subtle-breaths’ referred to in Taijiwuxigong is the five areas of the body that we ‘breathe’ through in our practice, and ‘subtle-breath’ refers to the refined breath that we achieve in deep meditation. The exercises that we work with are:
The Heaven-Earth Daoyin: which helps to open the spinal column, to lengthen the straight muscles of the whole body, and to open the central channel.
The Head Daoyin (A & B): which help to realign the cervical vertebrae and enlarge the inter-vertebral spaces, enhance qi circulation in the left and right channels, and circulate qi in the front and back channels.
The Shoulder Daoyin (A & B): which help to make the muscles and ligaments around the shoulder more supple, help to clear the channels that run down through the arms, and promote the opening and closing movement of the dantian.
The Chest Daoyin (A & B): which create more supple up and down movement in the diaphragm, facilitate expansion and contraction of the rectus abdominus muscle to massage organs and assist in peristalsis, and help the movement of qi in the torso.
The Abdomen Daoyin: which exercises the muscles of the waist and back, massages the organs of the abdomen to improve absorption of nutrients and excretion of waste, and circulates qi in the front and back channels.
The Heel Daoyin: which stretches the whole body and massages all of the organs, helps to open the central channel, and creates circulation in the front and back channels.
The Enclosing Daoyin: which stretches the spinal column, relaxes all the muscles of the body, opens the central channel, and brings qi to the dantian.
We use these exercises to activate the dantian (the energy centre in our abdomen), and use the movement generated there to open the channels of our body in order to expel Binqi (disease causing factors). This dantian is not something we can find by dissecting the body, but is rather that space just below the navel and between the muscles of the abdomen. Thus, when we say that this area becomes active, we are referring to the manner in which we these muscles become involved in, and ultimately lead, every movement throughout our body. We activate this area in order to generate an internal force that we then guide around our body. Then, once we have opened and cleared many of our body’s longstanding problems, we can develop a feeling of great harmony with the natural world.